Kinisis was waiting for Arkay as he returned from his latest job. She was actually wearing something for a change. A ribbon-like wrap around a pair of massive breasts that tied up behind her neck, and a flowing, knee-length skirt. She seemed happy, but not in a malicious way. Genuinely happy.
“Hi…” Arkay muttered. “What’s… Going on?”
Kinisis smiled a little and extended her claw. “I want to show you something.”
The Veth Prime hesitated, then took Kinisis’s hand. Kinisis smiled again and whipped up a cloud of black smoke and sparkles.
As the cloud faded, Arkay realised they were somewhere else. Still in Kinigi, but somewhere else. The ground was no longer covered in silvery pink grass, but flowers and vines and other beautiful, blooming plants. The sky was not a uniform lilac and pink, but a rainbow of colours. Everything was bright and vibrant. And more importantly, everything was alive.
“What is this place?” Arkay couldn’t help but gasp at how wonderful everything was.
“This is the birth side of Kinigi,” Kinisis explained, a small smile slipping across her face. “This is where life is reborn. Where nature comes back to life.”
Arkay was only half listening. He wandered around, running his hands though the flowering grass. Fluffy seeds blew through the air. A calm wind rustled by, blowing warm air across the endless fields and rivers.
“I have never… seen this place before…”
“No, I have been meaning to bring you here…” Kinisis sighed. “I bring every Veth here. To show you what you are really protecting and preserving. I should have brought you here sooner. Because up until now, you never felt like you were doing anything worthwhile…”
Arkay absorbed the view, amazed at it all. It was breathtaking, even though Arkay didn’t need to breathe. Eventually, he turned back to Kinisis.
“Why did you not show me this sooner?” The Veth wiped a tear from his eye. “This is all so wonderful. It all… It all makes sense now. I mean…” Arkay was struggling. The beauty of this place had caught him off guard. “I knew this side of Kinigi existed, but I didn’t realise how sacred it was…”
Kinisis lowered her head. “Like I said, I should have brought you here sooner… But so much has happened lately… I feel so bad for not bringing you here, when it should have been the first thing I did for you… Between the corruption and the shit that Kairos and Kenos have been doing… I’m sorry…” She reached round to her belt, removing something from the back. She handed a fabric-wrapped bundle to Arkay. Arkay hesitated, then opened up the bundle.
Inside were two delicately carved daggers, each wrapped up in a silver chain.
Arkay inspected the blades, a slightly confused look on his face.
“Are you proposing to me?”
“The chained daggers…”
“One for you, one for me… To show that you are… not a servant, but closer to my equal… What’s so weird about that?”
Arkay smirked as he ran his fingers down the chains. “Traditionally, a Rethan proposes to another Rethan by offering them two daggers, joined by chains. The daggers are worn on the hip, the chains around the neck.”
Kinisis blinked. “Propose as in… Marry?”
Kinisis fell silent, and stared at the ground. Arkay took one more look around. He was still smiling. He felt as if everything made sense now. There was a reason to everything. All the pain and suffering, it would have been pointless if she had just shown him this. But now Arkay understood, he finally realised how important his duty was. Protecting this wonder was his responsibility now.
“Will you…” Kinisis was suddenly at a loss for words. “Marry seems like the wrong word. But I need you. More than I’ve been willing to admit. Will you stay by my side?”
The Veth Prime smiled one last time. “I will.”